Delete your Windows password: Microsoft rolls out log-in alternative

You can’t forget your password if you don’t have one. Better still, it can’t be stolen either. That’s the thinking behind the no-password option that Microsoft is adding for its various platforms.

Logging into Windows with an authenticator app instead of a password is not only easier, but above all it’s safer.

The problem was that until now, logging into a Microsoft account without a password was something you could only do if your company was on a business plan. Now, Microsoft is gradually making password-free logins available to all users.

The benefit is that once your account has no fixed password, then no-one can use it to hack into your account. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about remembering another complex password. You also won’t be tempted to use a weak password just to be able to remember it.

So how does logging into Windows and other Microsoft apps like Outlook and OneDrive work? Whenever you log on, you essentially just confirm “Yes, it’s really me” on Microsoft’s Authenticator app on your Android or iOS device.

Once installed on your smartphone, it has to be connected to your Microsoft account. Some will already have the app on their mobile device because it also allows you to log in to online accounts in two steps with a password and a second verification feature (two-factor authentication) – not only with Microsoft, but also with many other services.

To get rid of the Microsoft password, you still have to open the administration page of your Microsoft account and activate the “Passwordless account” option under “Security/Additional security options”.

On the way there, you may be invited by a pop-up window to download the app. If you’ve already installed and connected the app, you can of course ignore this.

If you want to log in to your Microsoft account, Windows (from Windows 10) or a Microsoft service such as OneDrive or Outlook, the app uses fingerprint, facial recognition or a PIN for authentication.

If, for some reason, you miss having a password, then you can reactivate one on the administration page of the Microsoft account. – dpa